Ritical Paper Sexual Liberty and Equality

Critical Paper Option One i?? Sexual Liberty and Equality

Given what we have learned in class regarding sexual liberty and equality, please answer the following question:

Katherine Powell and Sarah Samuels both self-identify as lesbian women and have been couple for the last ten years. They wish to marry in the state of Gotham. The state of Gothan has denied them a marriage license because an amendment to the Gotham Constitution provides that i??only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in Gotham.i?? In a legal suit against the State of Gotham, Powell and Samuels argue that the IGotham constitutional amendment denying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because it violates both their 14th Amendment rights to liberty under the due process clause and right to equality under the equal treatment clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear their case in light of their recent rulings in U.S. v. Windsor (2012) and Hollingsworth v. Perry (2012).

In U.S. v. Windsor, the Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act (i??DOMAi??) unconstitutional because it violated the equal protection rights of same-sex married couples in New York, which is a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. This means that federal law denying rights to same-sex married couples was unconstitutional, but it still gave each state the right to decide both in the legislature and in the courts whether or not to allow same-sex marriage and its constitutionality. The Court in Hollingsworth v. Perry (2012) held that petitioners did not have standing to appeal a District Court order ruling that Californiai??s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. This means the California Supreme Court decision that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional is upheld and same-sex marriage in California is recognized.

The LGBT Resource Center is a non-profit agency devoted to supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. They are hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule against the Gotham Amendment and in favor of same-sex marriage. The right to same-sex marriage will bring much needed protection, benefits, and resources to lesbian, gays, and transgender individuals in Indiana who desire to marry. At the same time, the Center is equally concerned with how the Supreme Court may define marriage and how legal reform around same-sex marriage may detract from larger liberation struggles devoted to a world where diverse gender identities and sexualities can flourish.

As a well-known litigator and LGBT rights attorney, the LGBT Resource Center has asked you for your guidance and expertise. They would like you to write a memo that discusses the legal issues in the upcoming Supreme Court case and its broader implications for the LGBT community. Please draft a 5-page memo that discusses, but is not limited to, the following:

1. How does the Gotham Amendment violate a 14th Amendment right to liberty under the due process clause? Is the right to marry a fundamental right? If so, what standard of judicial review would you argue for the Supreme Court to apply and why?

2. How does the Gotham Amendment violate their 14th Amendment right to equality under the equal treatment clause? What is the legal classification at issue in the law? What standard of review would you argue for the Supreme Court to apply and why?

3. In your informed opinion, how is the Supreme Court likely to rule in this case? How are they likely to define marriage? What standard of judicial review are they likely to apply given the recent court decisions in U.S. v. Windsor (2012) and Hollingsworth v. Perry (2012)?

4. In your informed opinion, what are the advantages, disadvantages, and ambivalences of a possible Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage? How might it simultaneously support and detract from larger liberation struggles devoted to a world where diverse gendered, classed, and racialized identities and sexualities can flourish? What are some more meaningful alternative political strategies that go beyond a focus on constitutional legal reform?

Outstanding papers generally address and cite all the cases and articles discussed in class in regards to same-sex marriage and anti-sodomy. Make sure to offer direct textual evidence for your analysis by using short quotable phrases from the text with page number citations. The paper should be a creative synthesis and comparing and contrasting of the course materials, rather than a paragraph-by-paragraph summary of articles or cases.

PAGE LIMIT: 4 pages

PAPER FORMAT: All written assignments must be (1) 12-point times new roman font with (2) one-inch margins, (3) justified, and (4) double-spaced. They must also strictly adhere to the page limit. I will not read content passed the assigned page limit. I am imposing this requirement, even though I find it incredibly rigid, as a fairness mechanism so that everyone is given a chance to develop their writing through similar opportunities and constraints. It also helps you to craft your writing in a clear and concise manner and to practice on what to include and what not to include in your arguments.

CITATION FORMAT: All papers should use a proper academic citation and bibliographic formatting. I doni??t care which one you use, so long as it is done correctly and consistently through out the document.